Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Teddy's Night of Terror
Back in February, I shared with everyone my story, “The Chaos We Call Teddy.” When I wrote it, I put a humorous twist on it, to lighten the mood from my previous serious topics. Little did I know that our beloved Teddy would become a serious topic. Despite my joking regarding Teddy, I am very attached to him and cannot imagine ever losing him.
On Monday April 2, 2012, Teddy was taken to his doctor where they performed a neutering on him. He came home on Tuesday, wearing the cone of shame... the sad looking lampshade. He was in great spirits and really did not appear to be in any discomfort. The vet told us not to remove the cone for seven days, and to restrict his activity for ten days. No running... doctor’s orders!
I so desperately wanted to remove his cone on Friday, two days early. He seemed back to himself to me. I did, however, continue to follow his wellness plan.
Saturday afternoon, Teddy wanted to play. He’s a puppy for goodness sakes. He was really going stir crazy, so I threw him the ball a few times. Teddy and I both decided it wasn’t much fun since his cone kept him from freely catching and fetching the ball.
The day went on with Teddy wearing his silly cone and me working on my blog. I decided to lay down around 11:00 p.m. and Teddy was sadly hanging out with pent up energy. It seemed like it took me hours to fall asleep, but I finally drifted off around midnight. The guys were still up playing cards, but it wasn’t long until my youngest son ran into my room yelling, “Mama, Teddy got hit by a car.”
Only half awake, I asked him to repeat himself, as I sprang from my bed. This cannot be happening! These kids know that I watched my dog get hit and killed by a car when I was ten. They would not have let this happen as much as I’ve preached road hazards for animals. This just was not possible.
I ran downstairs to see Teddy laying on the sofa. What the hell is going on? Teddy is laying on the sofa. He’s not even outside. But just then, I saw a strange guy standing in my hallway. “Who are you?” To which the stranger replied, “I’m so sorry, I didn’t see him.”
Oh my God! This is happening. I looked again at Teddy and there is blood coming from his mouth and nose. There’s blood everywhere! Blood on the floor, the carpet, the sofa. My husband, Tom, was running around screaming that Teddy was not going to make it. Teddy smells of death. Oh no you don’t! I’ll have none of that... I will not let him die. I screamed to Tom to shut up. I wasn’t going to let this happen twice.
After seeing Tom completely panicked and unable to locate an open vet hospital, I kicked him off the computer and jumped on myself. There! A twenty-four hour clinic only four and one half miles away. I yelled to the guys to grab Teddy and put him in the van. This was not an easy feat considering he is almost sixty pounds and bleeding profusely. He was biting at Tom and Ryan because of the pain my poor Teddy was in.
Those four and a half miles seemed like eternity. We pulled in, and the veterinarian personnel came out and rushed Teddy to the back. I asked if I could go with him, but they told me it would be best if I stayed outside in the waiting room. If my Teddy was going to die, then I wanted to be by his side. I found my way back to him, only for the aide to kick me out and lock all of the doors.
I hate being locked in a cage, away from my beloved Teddy. It seemed like days before the vet came to tell me that Teddy was stable. She said that he had a contusion to the right eye; an ulcer on the left eye; a potential fracture to the snout; probable bruising of the lungs; a wound on his left paw that would require attention; and a very severe injury to his right leg. His right leg was the problem.
As she gave me the details about his leg injury, I began to feel ill. I’ve never been one to handle blood well anyway. She continued to tell me that the tendons and ligaments were torn and the bone was exposed. She said that he was not out of the woods, but he was stable. I asked if I could see him.
When I entered the room, Teddy looked pretty bad. He was breathing hard and still had blood coming out of his mouth and nose. Teddy looked at me and gave me the look of sorrow. Sort of like the look you give your parents after you wrecked the car and while your getting all stitched up at the hospital. All I could do was kiss him and cry.
I tried to soothe him. As much as I could considering I myself, was a wreck. Why Teddy? Why did you run out into the road! I asked to look at his right leg. To my absolute horror, I see muscles, tendons, flesh, blood, and bone. It was a mangled mess. My Teddy did not look well at all.
Our night would only get worse. I was handed an estimate of $2500.00 to $2900.00 for services through Sunday. I explained that I did not have access to those funds on Easter Sunday. My bank is in another state and they do not have branches in Colorado. They went on to tell me he would need multiple surgeries and potentially an amputation of his right leg. The estimated cost of everything, eight to ten thousand dollars. Are you kidding me? How will we come up with that kind of money. They weren’t too concerned about long term. They wanted their twenty-five hundred dollars that morning, or we were told, we could put him down.
I asked them how they expected me to make a decision like that. Teddy was healthy with the exception of his leg injury. There is no way I can kill him. They suddenly had another alternative. Teddy is a healthy six month old pure-bread Newfoundland. They would be willing to take him and nurse him back to health. They would absorb the cost and then find him a new home. This didn’t seem like a good option for us, but we agreed to give up our baby if that meant he could stay alive.
Easter Sunday, I cried and cried, and cried some more. My heart was absolutely broken. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. All I could do was cry and scream out for my Teddy. The rest of the family went about their Easter Sunday on automatic. How could I allow myself to get attached to this dog? Any dog? As I sunk into Tom’s arms, I cried out, “I want my Teddy.”
Monday morning I received a call from Tom, who was now very angry and feeling conned. “You go down there and tell them we want our dog. Teddy is our baby and no one else's.”
Despite my repeated calls to Wheat Ridge, no one would speak with me. Finally, I decided it was time to go down there. Tom called me again and told me that his mom would be willing to accompany me. That would be good. I tend to have a bad temper and I think cooler heads should prevail.
When the kids and I arrived at the vets, Diana (Tom’s mom) was already there. She informs me that they already have a home for my Teddy. How in the hell is that possible? It’s been just over twenty-four hours. Diana asks them if they would call the “new” owner and ask her to have a heart and let our Teddy come home with us. They refused.
At this point, neither Diana or I are being overly friendly. As I reminded the receptionist that we were given the option of putting Teddy down, or giving him up, she claimed this to be untrue; Despite her not being there or even being familiar with our situation.
Diana slid a business card to her. She tells Heidi that they will be hearing from her boss, who just so happens to be an attorney. As a matter of fact, she says, she will go ahead and get him on the phone.
Suddenly, Heidi has a change of heart and tells us she will get one of the partners.
We are taken into a room where a vet comes in and tells us that they have decided to give Teddy back to us. I wanted to jump up and down and scream at the top of my lungs that our Teddy was coming home. Just then, they bring Teddy out and I collapse to my knees. He begins kissing me with his tail wagging furiously. What a site for sore eyes he is. I can’t believe my Teddy is coming home.
As we begin to leave the vets office, the vet informs me that the surgeon has looked at Teddy’s right leg and he may not need an amputation after all. As a matter of fact, he may not even need surgery. It appears as if his injury is not quite as doomed as they originally thought. Wow, that’s quite a different story than Easter morning when we were being pressed to pay them twenty-five hundred dollars. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even pay two thousand to get Teddy back. I was amazed how the amount we owed had gone down once our attorney was involved.
Teddy is now home with his family. He sees his regular vet one to two times a week for *debriding, dressing changes, and evaluation. His right leg is coming along better than anyone anticipated. He is really starting to put weight on his right leg. Today, Dr. Berman tells me his progress is nothing short of a miracle. They are already covering the wound with his skin.
Teddy has resettled at home with us. I, more than ever, enjoy every moment with my big black Newfie. I miss him when he is at the vets, though I know he is in great care thanks to the wonderful staff and doctors at Adams County Animal Hospital. I have learned to never assume our furry little friends will be with us for any certain amount of time. I can’t express how
important it is for me to shower my loved one’s with love. I have learned to never take even one day for granted. I have discovered that Teddy is one of my best friends, and our love is unconditional. Most of all, I learned that without my Teddy, I am sad and miserable.
I have even considered that Teddy may need a baby brother or sister sometime soon!
Thanks again to Dr. Berman and the staff at Adams County Animal Hospital. Teddy and I are eternally grateful for the love and care that he receives with each of his visits.
After doing a lot of online research on Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital, I have found many stories similar to ours. They may be a wonderful animal hospital, but our experience with them was anything but pleasant. They did, however, save my Teddy’s life. For that I will be eternally grateful.
*Debriding is the removal of the dead tissue on Teddy’s leg to allow for new healthy tissue growth.